D-Tools proposal with graphicsAt D-Tools, we define three levels of data completeness. These allow us to focus our efforts on the information our subscribers need the most, improving both response time to specific requests, as well as overall data availability. Those three levels are: Proposal Ready, Extended, and Complete.

Proposal Ready – The most basic information only, such as model number, description and category. Just enough to do a proposal. This is our minimum standard for all data published. It is used when speed is of the essence, or for larger manufacturers who publish large numbers of small products.

Extended – more detailed information, such as dimensions, features and documents. While we always collect this data if it is easily available, sometimes it is very difficult to gather. Therefore we collect what we can given time constraints. This standard is used for specific data requests, MVP partners, and smaller manufacturers with few products.

Complete – Everything we can find, including I/O’s. Due to the time it takes to collect this data, complete data is only available by request, or for certain MVP manufacturers.

Broken down by data field, you can expect the following data to be included, for each level.

Proposal Ready
Extended Complete
Manufacturer SKU* I/O’s*
Model Dimensions* (HWD)
Description Weight*
Category & Subcategory Rack Mounted*
Phase Voltage*
Install Hours (rough estimate) Large Images*
URL/Hyperlink* Documents* – Manuals, User Guides, Install Guides
Thumbnail* CAD Drawings*
MSRP* Long Description**
Discontinued* Features**

*If available    **Not yet available for download. Can be viewed in data library

Generally, data is first published as proposal ready, then updated to complete. The reason for this is that proposal ready data is fairly easy to collect, whereas I/O data is more difficult and time-consuming. This allows us to publish a large number or products as proposal ready, and reserve the more detailed work for those products that our customers use the most.

What are the benefits of this approach for our users? First and foremost, this means more products will be available for download when speed is most important – during the proposal phase. A second benefit is that proposal ready data provides a good starting point, allowing users to add their own data and merge it with D-Tools provided data. And finally, this approach allows D-Tools to provide a much quicker response time to data requests, meaning we’ll be able to add the data you’re most interested in faster.

As time progresses, these concepts will be integrated into our client software, making it easier to see what data is available for which products.

Randy Bownds
Director of Data Products
D-Tools, Inc.